Spain's tourism minister says Brits SHOULD book holidays for July because quarantine rules will 'likely be suspended' as French politicians tear into draconian rules

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Spain opens for tourists on July 1 and says Brits SHOULD book holidays because UK's strict quarantine rules will 'likely be suspended' as French politicians tear into draconian rules

  • Spain is encouraging foreign tourists to book holidays starting in July 
  • Minister said rules forcing arrivals to quarantine for 14 days will 'likely' be relaxed
  • Comes after France hit out at UK for adopting the quarantine rule on Friday
  • European leaders are desperately trying to salvage the lucrative tourist season 

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Spain has announced its borders will be open to tourists from July 1 and has  encouraged British tourists to go ahead and book their summer holidays despite a growing row in Europe over Britain's strict quarantine rules. 

Reyes Maroto, the country's tourism minister, said Brits should plan to arrive from July when the UK's rules requiring returning tourists to isolate for 14 days will likely be suspended.

European leaders are desperately hashing out plans to try and salvage the continent's tourist season amid fears of a second wave of coronavirus infections.

Spain normally draws 80 million people a year, with tourism accounting for over 12% of gross domestic product and an even bigger share of jobs, so the summer season is crucial to possibilities of mitigating a looming recession. 

Spain has already allowed some domestic tourism to restart, including on the Tenerife Islands (pictured), but is expected to announce more plans this week

Spain's tourism minister says Brits SHOULD book holidays for July because quarantine rules will 'likely be suspended' as French politicians tear into draconian rules

Spain has encouraged British tourists to go ahead and book their summer holidays as lockdown rules are eased.

From the Canary Islands to the Costa Del Sol, what are some of the best deals for Britons looking to summer in Spain? 

With Spain starting to open it's doors to foreigners just in time for the popular summer months, what are the best deals on offer for Britons looking to escape to sun?

We gathered together some of the top holiday packages out there.

All prices are for a five-night stay for two people.

Canary Islands

The Maspalomas & Tabaiba Princess

Price: GBP1,684

Booking through: TUI 

One of the more luxury offers, this all inclusive four-star hotel boasts five restaurants, eight bars and a tropical pool.

Costa Brava

Montanamar Lloret

Price: GBP438

Booking through: Last Minute Trips

This Lloret De Mar hotel is less than 500m from the beach.

Costa Blanca 

Hotel Madrid 

Price: GBP446 

Booking through: Last minute Trips

This hotel in Torrevieja is just a stones-throw away from Los Naufragos Beach.

Costa Del Sol 

Ilunion Malaga

Price: GBP620

Booking through: Last minute Trips

This four-star hotel is moments away from the Picasso Museum and boasts sea-views and fully-air conditioned rooms. 

Maroto spoke after French politicians lashed out at Britain's decision to bring in a 14-day quarantine for all new UK arrivals, including returning holidaymakers.  

And in Benidorm the local mayor Toni Perez joined anger at the UK's plans for a 14-day quarantine for Brits returning from abroad. 

Perez said:  'we're also keeping a close eye on our most important market which is the UK and which is the country that is therefore of most concern to us.

"The quarantine the British government has announced, which will be revised after three weeks and includes high fines for people who flout the rules, is causing a lot of uncertainty.

'No-one knows how long it could last and that is having an effect on last-minute holiday reservations and cancellations and that is something that is worrying us.'

The country's interior ministry said France 'regretted' the decision, which will make it difficult for Britons to take a holiday in Europe.

Home Secretary Priti Patel announced the new measure on Friday - saying she was open to the idea of creating 'air bridges' to low risk countries which would allow travellers to skirt the rules.

Britain and France were thought to be in talks about creating an exemption, but the idea was put on hold after a backlash.  

France and Spain are both due to outline their rules around restarting domestic and international tourism this week. 

Ahead of the announcement, France's environment minister Elisabeth Borne said that citizens are being strongly advised against taking a foreign holiday.

'We absolutely do not invite the French to consider holidays abroad,' she told radio station France Inter.

 

Asked specifically about Spain - which shares a long land border with France - Borne said travel is not being advised currently but the situation is under review. 

Sunseekers are returning to Costa beaches loved by British holidaymakers today (MON) following a new easing of Spain's coronavirus restrictions.

Sunbathing and dips in the sea are now allowed along thousands of miles of Spanish coastline, including Magaluf and San Antonio in Majorca and Ibiza and Tenerife resorts like Playa de Las Americas and Los Cristianos.

Spain's tourism minister says Brits SHOULD book holidays for July because quarantine rules will 'likely be suspended' as French politicians tear into draconian rules

The Canary Islands relaxed their lockdown further on Monday, allowing some tourists to take to the beach, though travel between regions is still banned

Locals and expats in Benidorm and the rest of the Costa Blanca, as well as the Costa del Sol, have to wait.

What are the UK's quarantine rules and how will they be enforced?

The government has said that people arriving in the UK from June 8 MUST self-isolate for 14 days to help slow the spread of coronavirus. 

Home Secretary Priti Patel said the measure would 'reduce the risk of cases crossing our border'. 

People will be required to tell the government where they plan to self-isolate. 

The rule will be enforced by random checks and fines of up to GBP1000. 

Border Force chief Paul Lincoln said those who did not have their own accommodation to self-isolate in would be provided facilities by the government, at their own expense. 

The announcement sparked a row with British holidaymakers hoping to go abroad this summer, while airlines slammed the new measure as 'effectively killing air travel'. 

The government is now considering 'air bridges' to allow tourists to travel without quarantining to countries that have low infection rates. 

The new measures will be renewed every three weeks from when it is introduced. 

Lorry drivers, seasonal farm workers, and coronavirus medics will be exempt. 

In the Costa del Sol, an army of 3,000 beach assistants will make sure tourists obey social distancing rules on Spain's busiest beaches this summer and Mallorca is asking for permission to reopen to tourists earlier than the nationwide target of July. 

In Benidorm the local mayor joined anger at the UK's plans for a 14-day quarantine for Brits returning from abroad.

The hired workers in Costa Del Sol will also be tasked with preventing overcrowding as hordes of holidaymakers flock to the seaside after the stresses of the last few months.

Juanma Moreno, president of the regional Junta de Andalucia government whose remit includes British favourite the Costa del Sol, announced the pioneering move on Sunday afternoon.

He said the beach assistants would work closely with town-hall employed local police and lifeguards on Spain's southern beaches.

The area they will be expected to cover stretches from the province of Almeria in the east to Huelva in the west, although a large percentage are expected to be assigned to beaches on the Costa del Sol which is one of Spain's best-known international stretches of coastline.  

Outside of famous Costa del Sol resorts like Marbella and Torremolinos, Andalucia also includes popular British resorts like Mojacar and the fantastic beaches of Costa de la Luz such as those in Tarifa and Zahara de los Atunes.

The beach assistants will be picked from a list of people who are currently unemployed and were given the chance earlier this year to register for temporary public sector jobs as part of a regional government initiative.

Nearly 600,000 people are registered for seasonal work.

Mr Moreno said their responsibilities would include 'guaranteeing the safety of beachgoers through surveillance and organising social distancing.' They will also be tasked with controlling access and limiting the numbers of people on the busiest beaches.

Although they will not be given police powers, the regional government chief said they would be expected to inform police about incidents so officers could intervene if necessary.

Spain's tourism minister says Brits SHOULD book holidays for July because quarantine rules will 'likely be suspended' as French politicians tear into draconian rules

People enjoy a morning out at La Barceloneta Beach in Barcelona on May 24, as the country slowly loosens a strict coronavirus lockdown

Spain's tourism minister says Brits SHOULD book holidays for July because quarantine rules will 'likely be suspended' as French politicians tear into draconian rules

Two women wearing sports gear practise yoga at dawn at La Barceloneta Beach in Barcelona

Spain's tourism minister says Brits SHOULD book holidays for July because quarantine rules will 'likely be suspended' as French politicians tear into draconian rules

Two women walk with their paddleboards as people enjoy a morning out at La Barceloneta Beach on Sunday 

Describing the beach assistants as a 'huge army', he added: 'They will enable us to organise in a planned way the opening of our beaches this summer.' Mr Moreno revealed his new plans for Spain's southern beaches after the country's PM Pedro Sanchez said foreign tourists would be welcomed back from July.

It comes as Coronavirus lockdown measures are being eased for people in Madrid and Barcelona from today, while elsewhere in Spain the first beaches are due to reopen.

Residents from the two cities are now allowed to meet up in groups of ten, in their homes or on restaurant and bar terraces. 

Mr Sanchez said in a live televised address on Saturday: 'Spain receives more than 80 million visitors each year.

'That's why I'm announcing to you that from the month of July the entry of international tourism to Spain will restart in safety.

'Foreign tourists can now start planning their holidays here.' Earlier Juan Marin, vice-president of the Junta de Andalucia, said rapid Covid-19 tests on foreign tourists could be the way forward for the recovery of the International holiday market.

He told a Spanish radio station the country had to compete on a level playing field with competitor nations like Portugal and Italy, warning: 'If we miss out this summer, we'll be facing a frozen winter.' 

Many Spanish town halls have already indicated social distancing through limits on the number of tourists who can enjoy their beaches, will be top of their list of priorities.

Spain's tourism minister says Brits SHOULD book holidays for July because quarantine rules will 'likely be suspended' as French politicians tear into draconian rules

Two women jump into the sea on Tenerife after Spain relaxed its lockdown further, with plans to restart tourism fully due to be announced this week

Spain's tourism minister says Brits SHOULD book holidays for July because quarantine rules will 'likely be suspended' as French politicians tear into draconian rules

A woman takes pictures of a friend on a night out on Pedregalejo Beach in Malaga on May 23

Spain's tourism minister says Brits SHOULD book holidays for July because quarantine rules will 'likely be suspended' as French politicians tear into draconian rules

Two women wearing face masks practise yoga at dawn at La Barceloneta Beach in Barcelona on May 24

Spain's tourism minister says Brits SHOULD book holidays for July because quarantine rules will 'likely be suspended' as French politicians tear into draconian rules

A woman practises yoga at dawn at La Barceloneta Beach in Barcelona

Spain's tourism minister says Brits SHOULD book holidays for July because quarantine rules will 'likely be suspended' as French politicians tear into draconian rules

A police officer stands guard as a woman walks along La Barceloneta Beach in Barcelona

Spain's tourism minister says Brits SHOULD book holidays for July because quarantine rules will 'likely be suspended' as French politicians tear into draconian rules

People enjoy a night out on Pedregalejo Beach in Malaga on May 23. Spain said it would let in foreign tourists and restart top league football in the coming weeks, accelerating Europe's exit from strict virus lockdown

Spain's tourism minister says Brits SHOULD book holidays for July because quarantine rules will 'likely be suspended' as French politicians tear into draconian rules

Police officers patrol as people enjoy a night out on Pedregalejo Beach in Malaga on May 23

Spain's tourism minister says Brits SHOULD book holidays for July because quarantine rules will 'likely be suspended' as French politicians tear into draconian rules

People enjoy a night out a restaurant on Pedregalejo Beach in Malaga on May 23

Spain's tourism minister says Brits SHOULD book holidays for July because quarantine rules will 'likely be suspended' as French politicians tear into draconian rules

People sit on the sand near a police cordon at La Barceloneta Beach in Barcelona on May 24

The Costa del Sol resort of Fuengirola has said it will use artificial intelligence to control numbers.

Authorities in Lloret de Mar on the Costa Brava have said they intend to put different age groups in different areas of their beaches.

Travellers entering Spain are currently being forced to quarantine for 14 days but the order will be lifted when the country ends its current state of emergency at the end of June at the latest unless there is a dramatic change in the health situation.

Benidorm mayor Toni Perez has added his voice to the chorus of concern over the British government's quarantine rules.

Mr Perez spoke out after Spanish PM Pedro Sanchez said foreign holidaymakers would be welcomed back from July after its current quarantine rules on people arriving in the country are lifted.

His message was described as 'very positive' by influential Spanish tourist group Exceltur.

The mayor of British favourite Benidorm also welcomed Mr Sanchez's comments, but admitted the UK quarantine was a concern.

Under plans announced by Home Secretary Priti Patel on Friday, anyone reaching the UK from June 8 will have to self-isolate for 14 days or risk POUNDS 1,000 fines.

The new rules will apply to returning holidaymakers.

Ms Patel described the measures as 'temporary' but said they would be reviewed every three weeks, meaning any extension beyond the initial three-week period would make it impractical for most Britons to take a foreign break.

Spain is the top destination for British tourists, with around 18 million people from the UK visiting the country normally every year.

Benidorm - made even more famous by the hit ITV comedy series of the same name - has an area known as Little England.

British visitors to the resort outnumber every other nationality apart from the Spanish.

Four out of every ten of its holidaymakers come from the UK.

Spain's tourism minister says Brits SHOULD book holidays for July because quarantine rules will 'likely be suspended' as French politicians tear into draconian rules

People enjoy a night out on Pedregalejo Beach in Malaga. The Costa del Sol resort of Fuengirola has said it will use artificial intelligence to control numbers

Spain's tourism minister says Brits SHOULD book holidays for July because quarantine rules will 'likely be suspended' as French politicians tear into draconian rules

People enjoy a night out on Pedregalejo Beach. Authorities in Lloret de Mar on the Costa Brava have said they intend to put different age groups in different areas of their beaches

Spain's tourism minister says Brits SHOULD book holidays for July because quarantine rules will 'likely be suspended' as French politicians tear into draconian rules

A man sunbathes as people enjoy a morning out at La Barceloneta Beach in Barcelona on May 24

Spain's tourism minister says Brits SHOULD book holidays for July because quarantine rules will 'likely be suspended' as French politicians tear into draconian rules

Tourists and locals returned to the bars and terraces in Benidorm. Benidorm mayor Toni Perez has added his voice to the chorus of concern over the British government's quarantine rules

Mr Perez said: 'Benidorm has been working for weeks now to make sure it is a safe resort this summer.

'It's not just important that Benidorm and Spain are safe destinations but also that the countries tourists come from are safe as well.

'We're keeping on a close eye on the evolution of the health situation in the neighbouring countries of France and Portugal.

'But we're also keeping a close eye on our most important market which is the UK and which is the country that is therefore of most concern to us.

'The quarantine the British government has announced, which will be revised after three weeks and includes high fines for people who flout the rules, is causing a lot of uncertainty.

'No-one knows how long it could last and that is having an effect on last-minute holiday reservations and cancellations and that is something that is worrying us.' 

Yesterday influential Spanish tourist group Exceltur called on the Spanish government to give the UK priority in safe 'air corridor' negotiations designed to pave the way for a British return to the Costas this summer.

Exceltur's vice-president Jose Luis Zoreda called the Spanish PM's invitation to foreign holidaymakers to pick Spain from July 'very positive.' 

He said: 'This kickstarts British and German tour operators because they now know they can operate in July if all goes well.' 

Telling Catalan daily El Periodico that Britain, which accounted for more than 18 million of Spain's foreign tourists last year, and Germany should be priority countries in 'safe corridor' negotiations, he added: 'The speech Pedro Sanchez made was very positive because he committed to a date with enough time for potential tourists to book holidays here, and because of the message it sends that the Prime Minister of a country is welcoming back foreign visitors.

'The common denominator will not be nationality but the corridors.' 

Saying he thought it was unlikely EU-wide agreements on re-opening borders could be reached by July, he added: 'We have to get going to establish these bilateral corridors and agreements.' 

Spain's tourism minister says Brits SHOULD book holidays for July because quarantine rules will 'likely be suspended' as French politicians tear into draconian rules

Tourists and locals returned to the bars and terraces in Benidorm. Yesterday influential Spanish tourist group Exceltur called on the Spanish government to give the UK priority in safe 'air corridor' negotiations designed to pave the way for a British return to the Costas this summer

Many Spanish town halls have already indicated social distancing through limits on the number of tourists who can enjoy their beaches, will be top of their list of priorities.

The Costa del Sol resort of Fuengirola has said it will use artificial intelligence to control numbers.

Authorities in Lloret de Mar on the Costa Brava have said they intend to put different age groups in different areas of their beaches.

Travellers entering Spain are currently being forced to quarantine for 14 days but the order will be lifted when the country ends its current state of emergency at the end of June at the latest, unless there is a dramatic change in the health situation.

Additional measures like temperature checks at airports for foreign tourists who jet to Spain in July are also being studied.

Juan Marin, vice-president of the Junta de Andalucia which is the regional government responsible for areas like the Brit-popular Costa del Sol, insisted on Sunday that rapid Covid-19 tests on foreign tourists could be the way forward for the recovery of the International holiday market.

He told a Spanish radio station the country had to compete on a level playing field with competitor nations like Portugal and Italy, warning: 'If we miss out this summer, we'll be facing a frozen winter.' 

Teresa Ribera, one of the Spanish government's vice-presidents, has said 'safe corridors' will 'probably' be applied along the same lines as peoples' movements between regions as part of a national tourism scheme.

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